Prince’s last luxury sedan, second generation Gloria
Inline 6-cylinder engine, also known as “straight 6”, has many fans because of its low vibration, excellent quietness, and smooth speed.
There were straight 6 engines in Japan, such as being used in the Toyoda AA passenger car before the war, and being installed in the first generation Nissan Cedric after the war. 6″, the 2-liter SOHC straight 6 “G7”.
It is said that the 2nd generation Gloria was originally supposed to make a spectacular debut with this G7-equipped Super 6 as the centerpiece, but in fact, the inline 4-equipped car took the lead, and as a result of challenging the 1st Japan Grand Prix with it, the skyline and the skyline were quite good. I’m going to have a regrettable thought.
Although it managed to get revenge at the 2nd Grand Prix, it didn’t change the fact that it was late to start, and it seems that it struggled in terms of sales, but it is still the last luxury sedan that Prince released before merging with Nissan. It is one of the most popular models.
An independent flagship from the luxury version of the Skyline
In the latter half of the 1950s, Prince planned a high-end model of the “Skyline”, which was a model change and renamed in 1957 from the “Prince sedan” released in 1952.
In January 1959, the first-generation Gloria, a 3-number luxury sedan* with a 1.9-liter engine and a more superior interior than the Skyline, was released.
(*Until September 1960, the upper limit of displacement for small cars was 1.5 liters.)
However, when the compact car frame was expanded to 2 liters, the Skyline was also equipped with a 1.9 liter engine, and when the more expensive “Skyline Sports” with the same engine debuted, the Gloria became simply a luxury interior version of the Skyline. increase.
With this, the face of the flagship could not be preserved… So, the second generation Skyline was changed to a 1.5-liter sedan for the masses (released in September 1963), while the second generation Gloria became a larger flagship. It was released in September 1962, clarifying the sedan-likeness.
However, aside from the fact that the basic configuration of the suspension, with double wishbone + coil independent suspension at the front and de Dion axle + leaf at the rear, remained unchanged, the installed engine was a 1.9-liter inline 4 G4 that was an improved version of the original GB4. The thing is, it’s a little unsatisfactory.
The appearance that expresses linear yet dynamic curvaceous beauty, such as the fearless front mask with four round headlights on the reverse slant nose, and the plated molding around the upper part of the flat deck, also known as “Hachimaki Gloria”, is praised. However, the neck was the engine.
Of course, Prince is also calculating there, and at the motor show immediately after its release, the “Prince 2500” with a 2.5-liter inline 6 engine will be exhibited, but originally, the car with an inline 6 engine will be the image leader and make a more spectacular debut. There is also a story that it was supposed to be.
Or perhaps the development was delayed and the rival’s debut was pushed forward, but as a result, the debut with the old engine cast a dark shadow over the second generation Gloria.
The 1st Japan Grand Prix of regret, having challenged as normal
At the 1st Japan Grand Prix held in May 1963, the year after the release of the second-generation Gloria, the T-VI class (1,601 to 2,000cc touring cars) became a de facto battle between the flagship sedans of each manufacturer. Enter the second generation Gloria and the first generation Skyline.
However, before the race, each manufacturer signed a gentlemen’s agreement that they would not get involved in modifying the participating cars. , even if the manufacturer modifies within the scope of the regulations, it does not constitute a violation.
In other words, “the race started before the start”, but only Prince and Subaru believed in the gentlemen’s agreement until the practice run just before the race, and believed that “we can’t lose in performance, so we will win”. .
When the practice session started, all the companies were clearly equipped with skilled drivers in manufacturer-tuned vehicles, and they were running under a works system. Even if you tune as much as possible, it’s already too late.
In the T-VI race, the Toyota Crown (2nd generation) was chased by Ford Taunus 17M and Isuzu Berel. Nissan’s Cedric (first generation) followed.
Prince was completely out of Kaya due to such excitement, and the latest Gloria only ranked 9th, losing even to the first-generation Skyline, which ranked 8th, the highest ranking of Prince.
It’s easy to call this “breaking the gentleman’s agreement”, but in reality, except for Prince and Subaru, if you’re ready to race and win, you’ll have no problem.
In the shadow of a rival manufacturer, who usually advertised in newspaper advertisements, “Our high-performance car wins big!” It is said that he pledged revenge while writing.
In fact, the reason is that no one from top to bottom understood the basic principle that “a race is a sales promotion activity and it is natural that you should do everything you can to win.” It was the site where I felt the most loss.
If this can be done in time for the Grand Prix … the appearance of “Super 6”
Immediately after the 1st Japan GP, while Toyota and other companies proudly reported their victory results and linked it to sales promotion, Prince’s complaints from users “What’s going on! Isn’t it late!” It is said that the site was also in trouble.
When they saw the Gloria Super 6, which was originally a “feature product,” released one and a half months after the Grand Prix, how did the people involved and users feel?
I think there were a lot of people who got excited and said, “If this is the case, I won’t lose next time.” You may have thought, “If only I could go to the Grand Prix with this…”.
The Gloria Super 6 has such an impact, it’s a real flagship sedan! It had a sense of luxury and high performance that could be said to be.
The 2-liter G7, which is based on Mercedes-Benz, is the first domestically produced SOHC inline 6-cylinder engine. The maximum output is 105 horsepower, and the maximum speed is 10km/h higher than that of a straight-4 G2-equipped vehicle.
Of course, if the gentleman’s agreement had been followed, even the high-performance Super 6 would not have been able to compete with the works tune, but if Prince had planned to start racing from the beginning and sold the Super 6 ahead of schedule… A month and a half late debut” was regretted.
The 2nd GP that paid revenge
The following year, the 2nd Japan Grand Prix became a battle without honor and honor between “Prince who got serious” and a rival manufacturer, and Prince entered the same T-VI class as last year, of course with a Gloria Super 6, this time with a tuned G7 ” Equipped with GR7A, the undercarriage has also been solidified.
Although the GR7A was not as strong as the GR7B (150hp) of the Weber triple cab loaded by the Skyline GT that competed in the GT-II class, it was a well-tuned engine that produced 140hp, which surpassed the commercial G7 by 35hp.
The biggest rival was, of course, the Toyota Crown, but the 2-liter SOHC straight-six M-type car was not released until the following year, 1965, and the 1.9-liter OHV straight-4 3R, the same engine as last year’s, was the result. , Gloria Super 6 wins with a 1.-2 finish!
Look, if you race seriously with your favorite machine, there’s no way you can lose to Toyota! I may have thought.
After the race, the Grand Gloria, a 3-number luxury sedan equipped with a 2.5-liter G11 based on the Super 6 G7, was released. It was also delivered to the Imperial Family, and kept the face of the imperial purveyor.
In addition, the lineup will be centered on inline 6 engines, such as adding a low-priced inline 6 “Gloria 6” that is a detuned version of the G7 and its van/wagon specifications.
Merge with Nissan to become “Last Prince Gloria”
But Gloria’s glory days were short-lived.
In May 1965, just one year after the release of Grand Gloria, Prince was unable to get out of a fundamental slump in sales. Due to the convenience of its parent company Bridgestone and its main bank, it announced a merger with Nissan.
When the merger became a reality in August 1966, it became the “Nissan Prince Gloria”, and when the third generation under development was released in April 1967, it officially became the “Nissan Gloria”.
Even so, it was Prince that developed it, and although it had its own unique design such as a unique vertical 4-light headlight, from the 4th generation, it became a brother car of Cedric (230 type) for Nissan Prince shop, and finally Prince. Gloria’s light has gone out.
* The author information of the images used in this article is as of the publication date.
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